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An Introduction to Life-Course Criminology

An Introduction to Life-Course Criminology

December 2015 | 184 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Most people engage in crime at some point in their lives, but why does almost everybody stop soon after? And, why do a small number of offenders persist in crime? These two questions constitute the core of the field often known as life-course criminology.

This book provides a comprehensive introduction to life-course criminology. It covers the dominant theories and methodologies in the field and equips you with all you need to succeed in your studies on the subject.  The book:

  • Discusses the methodologies of life-course and longitudinal research
  • Explains and critiques the major theories of life-course criminology
  • Considers the issues of risk, prediction, onset, persistence and desistance of criminal activity
  • Draws on research from studies in Europe, the UK, US and Australia, including the Stockholm Life-Course Project

Written by two leading figures in the field, this is an authoritative text that will guide you through your studies in life-course criminology, criminal career research, and developmental criminology.

Chapter 1: Life-Course Criminology: An Introduction
Chapter 2: Criminological Theories and Criminal Careers
Chapter 3: Life-Course Theories of Crime and Deviance
Chapter 4: The Methodologies of Life-Course Criminology
Chapter 5: Risk and Prediction of Criminal Careers
Chapter 6: Onset of Crime
Chapter 7: Continuity in Offending: Persistence
Chapter 8: Desistance from Crime
Chapter 9: Looking Back; Looking Forward

This is an excellent introduction to a topic of central importance for criminologists.  It has the merit of being very clearly written, and the authors cover a wide range of materials – theories and data; European and American research; quantitative and qualitative studies.  Throughout, they provide helpful examples from their work on the Stockholm Life Course Project.  Highly recommended.

Sir Anthony Bottoms
Emeritus Wolfson Professor of Criminology, University of Cambridge

‘Written by an emerging scholar in Carlsson and an internationally acclaimed criminologist in Sarnecki, the book is historically rich, theoretically provoking, methodologically sound, and policy relevant. Weaving in their own work with the Stockholm Life Course Project, this book casts a bright light into the futures of life course criminology and deserves to be read’ 

Alex R. Piquero
PhD, Ashbel Smith Professor of Criminology, University of Texas at Dallas

'The field of life course criminology has clearly come of age. Carlsson and Sarnecki's important new text is a wise and generative gift for the next generation of life course scholars. The authors clarify and synthesize decades of research on crime and the life course across multiple disciplines, and lay out the challenges still to come. It is a perfect introduction to a fascinating body of work'

Shadd Maruna
Dean, Rutgers School of Criminal Justice

Carlsson and Sarnecki’s An Introduction to Life Course Criminology captures the excitement of the life course perspective within criminology, a lens and set of preoccupations that have become increasingly central to the field.  This lively and engaging volume will not only give other scholars and students alike a full appreciation of key concepts and historical roots, but open a window on what is at stake theoretically, and how recent research informs contemporary debates.  Illustrations from the authors’ own important longitudinal study are especially useful, as they make tangible sometimes slippery notions (e.g., agency) and complicated pathways (the desistance process).   This would be an ideal text for a class on life course criminology and an excellent supplement for more general courses, and will be an outstanding resource for researchers with interests in this area.  

Peggy Giordano
Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Bowling Green State University

An excellent overview of life-course criminology, which is covered on this third year undergraduate module.

Mrs Ruth Weir
Department of Sociology, Essex University
March 27, 2017

Insightful and useful introduction.

Applied Social Science (Carlisle), University of Cumbria
May 2, 2016

A wide reaching text, ideal for students coming to the subject. Easy to navigate, this text introduces students to the key features of this topic

Mrs Caroline Knight
Children,Health, Adventure & Public Services, South Devon College
July 13, 2016

Life-course criminology is a fascinating book and it offers a good insights into this alternative methodology. This book is useful for anyone who wants to discover the uses of narrative in data collection.

Mr Darren Woodward
Social Science , Grimsby Institute of HE & FE
June 6, 2016

Carlsson and Sarnecki offer a much needed contribution to the limited textbooks available on the subject of life-course criminology. An essential reader for undergraduate students undertaking a criminal career or developmental module.

Miss Gillian Dickinson
UCBC, Blackburn College
June 23, 2016

very interesting concepts in this book which are valuable to student learning

Mr Martin Dorgan
MBA, University College Cork (NUI)
May 12, 2016

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ISBN: 9781446275917

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